Murugadoss Theerthapathi, 92, who was the last Zamin of Singampatti in erstwhile Tirunelveli district, which is at present in Tenkasi district, died at his palace in Singampatti village on Sunday night.
After last rites were performed to his mortal remains on the banks of Thamirabharani, he was cremated. Murugadoss Theerthapathi served as a honorary wildlife warden of Tirunelveli district for nearly three terms from 2002 to 2005.
A sharp shooter, Murugadoss is well known in wildlife circles as a renowned conservationist. He was ailing for sometime in his palace in the village. Murugadoss was crowned the Zamindar of Singampatti at the age of three-and-a-half years when his father died and was sent to Sri Lanka for education. The education, he had in the island nation in the pre-Independence era, made Murugadoss an excellent orator in English.
After being in Chennai for a while for his business, Murugadoss returned to Singampatti and was administering the famous Sorimuthu Ayyanar Temple inside the Kalakkadu – Mundanthurai Tiger Reserve beyond Papanasam that would attract thousands of devotees for the Adi amavasai festival. He would be in the royal robes during this festival.
Before the formal abolishment of the Zamindari system, he became the Zamindar of Singampatti. After a prolonged legal battle, the tea estates are now owned by the Department of Forests.
Paying tributes to him, Sivakarthikeyan, who played the heir of Singampatti Zamin in Seemaraja, said, “I will always be proud to have played the role of Sigampatti Seemaraja. My heartfelt condolences to the people of Singampetti and the family members of Singampatti Raja.”
The movie’s director Ponram wrote: “#RIPSingampattiRaja. He wasn’t just a king, but was very humble and was also a renowned scholar in Tamil literature. I offer my condolences to his family members and to the people of Singampatti.”